8 arguments for having a KM Policy

What’s the point of having a KM Policy? Here are 8 arguments in favour.

  1. There comes a time when a KM strategy has done its job, and that’s when you need a KM policy.  Your Knowledge Management strategy is a strategy for change – a strategy for introducing the culture, behaviours and management framework for Knowledge Management. Once the change is complete, what replaces the strategy? The answer is a Knowledge Management Policy
  2. The KM policy is a statement of intent. It declares that the organisation believes KM is important. Conversely, if there is no olicyy, that declares that the organisation believes KM is not important.
  3. The KM policy sets clear expectations and accountabilities for all staff. It is a statement of expectation and defines KM accountabilities for the organisation. 
  4. Creating a KM policy requires the support of senior management. Therefore the policy is a visible sign of senior management support, and it indicates that senior managers want things done the right way in KM terms. The policy also requires you to work with senior management to define the expectations and statements, so drives you to deep engagement with leadership.
  5. The KM policy gives direction without being prescriptive. It therefore sets boundaries within which people in the organisation can tailor their own KM approaches.
  6. The KM policy resolves tensions between opposing forces. Like the tension between open sharing of knowledge versus information security – the only way that will get resolved is through an overarching policy statement.
  7. The KM policy sets minimum standards for KM. This gives you a baseline to measure against, and a way to recognise those people who are not doing what they should in KM terms. 
  8. The forthcoming ISO Knowledge Management Standard will almost certainly require a KM policy. This standard will be a Management Systems standard, and the template for an ISO management systems standard contains a section on Policy. ISO believe that an effective management system must be supported by a polity, and that applies to KM just as it does to other management systems. 

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